The Lite Side

Netscape, IE Mac Die in Triple Suicide Attempt

IE Windows Critically Injured as Well

- 2003.06.19

REDMOND, WA - Investigators today revealed that the death of Netscape and Internet Explorer for the Mac was part of a triple-suicide attempt that left two browsers dead in the water and Internet Explorer for Windows maimed.

"Apparently, the three got together over the course of several weeks and just decided to end it all together," said Norm Chumsky, chief investigator for the Redmond Special Crimes Against Software unit.

"They were all running on clock cycles," he stated during a press conference held at the Doubletree Hotel in Redmond. "For the past several weeks, all they'd had to eat was a steady diet of plug-ins, patches, and links to helper apps," he continued. "No healthy stand-alone program can survive on a diet like that without getting clogged file paths that'll lead to an early deletion. They were exhausted, malnourished, and perhaps abused. We are considering abuse charges, especially after the last-minute upgrade Microsoft forced on IE for Mac. It was the last straw."

The slide down the slippery slope to obsolescence apparently began weeks ago as rumors spread that Netscape was going to be retired to make way for Internet Explorer to be integrated as the default browser for America Online installation CDs.

Netscape was depressed, say friends who knew the software well, and looking for solace. Some say, the solace was found, but in the wrong place - the very place where the last chapter of Netscape's life was written, right here in Redmond, Washington.

The evening of June 12, after hours of consoling the depressed software, Internet Explorer for Mac suffered a shock of its own when press releases from an article to be published in MacUser revealed that IE for Mac had been removed from future development and the existing version placed on minimal life support for the "foreseeable future," according to a spokesperson at the Long Term Software Maintenance Facility here in Redmond.

Despite differences in the past, both software programs agreed to meet with Internet Explorer for Windows the Monday evening after the MacUser posting. At least they were all browsers, Netscape pointed out.

"We do have things in common," said IE for Mac. That was when IE Windows reminded the others that it was probably destined to be integrated into the operating system, the very thing that led to a string of lawsuits against Microsoft and the eventual demise of Netscape.

Thinking the matter had been settled long ago, Netscape became enraged, according to witnesses in the area.

"Netscape was, like, you know, just screaming and kicking the wall and tossing plugins all over the apartment," said Opera, who was visiting a retired friend, Mosaic, who lives in the apartment on the floor below. "Eventually everyone was yelling, and the wall thumped a couple of times, and then it was like real quiet."

Opera didn't call the cops, primarily because, "It wasn't any of my business. Besides, I had places to go, sites to see."

Investigators arrived Thursday morning when IE for Mac didn't show up for work. "He's always been very punctual," said iCab, who lives near IE Mac.

What they discovered shocked all of them. "Netscape was shredded all over the living room," according to Chumsky. "Someone had printed out the source code - thousands and thousands of pages of it - and run it through a shredder.

"It wasn't pretty. I've never seen anything like it in all my years of software investigation."

IE Mac was mortally wounded with an infinite loop inserted into its brain. "He just kept saying 'Game over, man! Game over!' over and over," said Chumsky. "He was using the whiny pitched voice like that guy in the Aliens movie."

IE Windows was functional, but just barely. It was IE Windows that told investigators about the mutual suicide pact. They were to end it all so people would not be able to browse at all, and then they'd be appreciated, according to police records. IE Windows was going to become infected with several viruses with virus protection turned off.

The result was not death, but paralysis, according to medical examiners. "IE Windows realized at the last second that there are other browsers in the world, that someone would immediately step in to take the place of the missing software, and their little suicide pact would ultimately pass on with little notice outside of the computing world," said Minsk Marviny, coroner for the Artificial Intelligence office at the Redmond police lab.

IE stopped accepting all cookies and managed to survive the suicide attempt. But according to officials, it will need to be on permanent life support and will essentially need to be integrated with an operating system for the rest of its life.

"Kind of convenient, isn't it, having an excuse to integrate the browser into the OS weeks earlier than planned," said Chomsky. Beyond that, he refused to comment further, citing the need to keep secret the exact plan of the investigation.

"This ain't no suicide pact," said Mozilla, Netscape's cousin. "Netscape wouldna killed himself over nuthin', especially with that [expletive deleted] IE [Windows] involved," he told reporters following the press conference.

"I'm gonna do some investigatin' of my own and find the real killers, and odds are I won't have to look far," he said before his lawyer drew him from the hotel conference room. Police investigators would not comment on the ongoing investigation other than to confirm that by all accounts it was a suicide attempt.

"This is a real shock, but I can't say I'm surprised," said Safari, noted for its faster page loading and simpler interface. "You can't just keep on adding bloat like that and expect to live forever."

Safari was sampling tabs at the time and did not answer questions about feature bloat in its own application.

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